Buying a home is a big step so it’s important to prepare yourself for the decision. Which would you rather live in– a house or a condo? Both have their benefits and their drawbacks. If you’ve never lived in one or the other, this article should provide some helpful things to think about before making the decision.
Benefits of Living in a House:
- The entire property is yours–both land and house. You are free to remodel or make changes without the consent of others (with regards to city and county zoning ordinances if applicable).
- Houses typically have more indoor and outdoor living area and storage space such as closets, an attic, and a basement.
- Houses provide more privacy such as a private fenced in backyard.
- There are also no shared walls, floors, or ceilings in a house so you can make more noise.
- Houses have more parking like in a private garage, driveway, or street parking.
Drawbacks of Living in a House:
- The homeowner is responsible for all property and lawn maintenance.
- Utility bills are typically higher because houses have more space to heat and cool than condos.
- Homeowner is responsible for all expenses and must budget for long-term repairs to the roof, plumbing fixtures, and household appliances.
- There is more space to furnish in a house which adds to the cost of home ownership.
Benefits of Living in a Condo:
- Condos are often located near shops, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, etc.
- Association fees share the expense of water/sewer, trash removal, and outside maintenance which can cost the homeowner less money out of pocket.
- There are lower barriers of entry to buy a condo because you can typically get a condo for cheaper than a house.
- Condos come with common amenities such as pool, fitness center, club house, walking trails, etc
- There is no need to landscape or worry about outdoor maintenance in a condo.
Drawbacks of Living in a Condo:
- Condo association fees cost money every month above and beyond your mortgage payment.
- There is always the possibility of having noisy or inconsiderate neighbors close-by.
- Condos typically have less living area and storage space.
- Condos provide less privacy due to many folks sharing common areas.
You should know and understand the many differences between living in a house or condo before purchasing. If you are uncertain about how HOA’s work be sure to read What is a homeowners association (HOA)?.
What advantages/disadvantages to house or condo life did we miss? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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